What if I rebuild, but there are some variances or differences (i.e. different floor plan; add a full bath; it now meets current building codes; etc.)? Will my assessment go up or stay the same?
Property owners will retain their factored base year value as long as the structure is rebuilt in a like or similar manner to bring it up to current building codes, regardless of the actual cost of construction. However, any new square footage or extras such as additional baths, accessory dwelling units, etc., will be added to the Proposition 13 factored base year value at its full market value. The original property will not be reassessed unless there is a new construction event or a change of ownership on the property.
Can my assessed value be increased prior to the completion of construction?
Yes. Property is assessed on the lien date (January 1st) and/or at the construction completion date. If the property improvements are only partially rebuilt as of January 1, a partial value will be restored for the next annual tax bill.
If I do add on square footage, can you tell me what value you are going to add to my assessment, or in fact, do I get reassessed and lose my Proposition 13 basis? How do you determine the value?
We cannot give you a value estimate prior to completion of construction. You will keep your Proposition 13 basis on structures of record prior to the addition. The costs and market approaches will be evaluated for the added square footage portion, and then reconciled by our appraiser for a reasonable fair market value conclusion. A specific notice will be sent out prior to any tax bill.
What if I build a new granny unit to live in before I rebuild the main house?
The granny unit will be assessed at its fair market value when complete and have a new base year value established for that structure since it was never assessed. When the main house is rebuilt, the two values will be combined. The two structures will have two separate Proposition 13 base years specific to each living unit.
If I disagree with the value you place on my new construction, what can I do about it?
You may speak with the appraiser who will explain the methodology involved in their decision. If you feel that there was information missed, you may provide additional information thereafter. If you wish to file a formal appeal application with the Clerk of the Assessment Appeals Board, you must do so within 60 days of the Notice date.
More about Assessment Appeals
Can I transfer my tax value to a temporary residence until I rebuild my original house back onto my lot?
No. You can transfer your value to another residence but that will be considered a permanent transfer of your base year value and you will not be able to move it back to your original residence when construction is completed on the rebuild.
The alternative is to pay the new property tax on your purchase of a temporary residence and reserve your original Proposition 13 factored base year value (calamity reinstatement value) for your property that experienced the total loss.
My property tax value went up by more than 2% this year. Why didn't I receive a notice in the mail?
Annual Value Notices are no longer mailed out (as of about 2012), but are available in July each year using the Assessor Property Information Lookup Tool.
Each situation is unique to a certain property, but the most common reason for increases beyond 2% are because the property value was lowered temporarily due to a value decline. Increases could be due to the property now being assessed at the higher market value as of January 1.
Lookup Property Information and Value Notices Now